On the site of the former Chicago Tribune printing facility, the Chicago City Council this week approved plans for a $1.7 billion casino complex.
Chicago approves the $1.7 billion SCB-designed riverfront casino project. On the site of the former Chicago Tribune printing facility, the Chicago City Council this week approved plans for a $1.7 billion casino complex.
The state’s gambling regulating body’s approval is currently the only thing preventing the project, which has been in the works for decades, from breaking ground.
At Chicago Avenue and Halsted Street in West Town, the casino has 4,000 gaming positions and 11 eateries. In addition, there will be a 23,000-square-foot museum, a 500-room hotel, a 3,000-seat theatre, more than 3,000 parking spots, and a 2,100-square-foot riverbank park with walkways.
The city’s Department of Planning and Development remarked in a tweet on December 12 that the development is anticipated to result in $75 million in infrastructure upgrades and maintain 3,000 permanent employment.
Local firm SCB has been hired by international casino entertainment company Bally’s to design the casino and related development.
According to the Chicago Sun-Times, city officials plan to use the project’s fees and taxes to fill a funding gap in the city’s police and fire pension funds. Bally stated in its December 2022 presentation to the city that it would pay the city $40 million upfront and make annual contributions of $2 million for community benefits and $2 million for the general budget, respectively, if the Illinois Gaming Board approved the project.
The project’s initial step is applying for LEED Gold certification.
Bally claims that the development’s second phase will include roughly 4,800 apartments, a new hotel, and 125,000 square feet of retail space spread across 5.6 million square feet to create a “spectacular regional attraction.”
Although the City Council approved the casino concept, it wasn’t without its share of detractors. According to CBS News, two congressmen whose districts near the proposed facility worry that it will worsen traffic in the city’s centre and have questioned if the casino will be able to provide the financial benefits it has promised. Since Bally’s has only acquired its other businesses, they contend that the company lacks experience in creating casinos from scratch.